How to Use Instagram to Sell Services

February 13, 2018

Selling products on Instagram tends to come more naturally for business owners. You can take photos or videos of your products and there is a more direct correlation to sales. When it comes to selling services using Instagram, business owners often need a little help getting on the right track.

Instagram is a very powerful social media network, and can be a great addition to your marketing strategy if it makes sense for your target market and if it’s done well.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to structure a plan for selling your services with Instagram.

Pick a Signature Style

Just like when selling products, having a cohesive aesthetic will help your business keep a professional and clean Instagram page.

Using the colors of your brand as accent colors is a fun and easy way to build brand recognition. For example, H&R Block uses plenty of green in their Instagram photos, which not only grabs the eye while scrolling through your feed, but builds on their brand. (Green = Money)

Create a Content Mix

Using social media in service-based industries is all about creating connections.

You want to build connections with potential customers by providing value, offering a helping hand, gaining trust, and giving opportunities to relate to you.

To achieve those goals, implement the 4:3:2 rule for every 9 squares of your Instagram page:

  • Four posts should add value and help your target audience

  • Three posts should create connections/opportunities to relate

  • Two posts should promote or sell your service

The content mix allows you to develop a relationship with your followers and makes it so you’re not only pushing your services.

Ways to Provide Value in Instagram Posts

Now that you know you should be providing value in your posts, it’s time to brainstorm some ways to do that. Every industry (and business for that matter) will vary in what exactly you’ll post, but these general themes are a good way to get the creative juices flowing.

1. Educate

People often find service-based businesses when they have a need. If you can sell your expertise by sharing tips that help them with their problem, you will become a resource for them. When they’re ready to reach out for help, you’ll be top of mind.

Don’t be afraid to give away your best advice. Your audience will still be missing context and skill, which is where your business opportunities lie.

2. Entertain

Providing value doesn’t always mean, it has to be boring. In fact, using humor every once in a while in your feed is a great way to grab people’s attention to a business that might otherwise be considered boring.

3. Inspire

Our last way to provide value through your Instagram is to post inspirational quotes. However, not just any inspirational quote will work the same.

When a potential customer comes to your business with a need, it often stems from an underlying dream or fear. Find ways that your business fits in with either promoting their dream or alleviating their fear.

For example, SkillShare is a service where you can sign up and access over 180,000 classes online that can teach you all kinds of artistic and practical skills such as watercolor painting, calligraphy, marketing, game design, cooking, and much more. They posted an inspiration quote that would play into the dream of an artist looking to create more.

Connect with Your Audience

Three posts in your Instagram content plan should include ways to connect with your audience. These are the times to show your brand’s personality and share relatable stories.

Showcase Your Company

No matter the industry, people love seeing behind-the-scenes action of what makes a business tick. If you’re not convinced your service is interesting enough, just know that even Sandra Lee, MD aka Dr. Pimple Popper has over 2.6 million followers that crave to see behind the scenes of her dermatology work. (Don’t worry, we won’t show an example from her.)

A simple way to showcase your company is through your employees.

Here’s an example from Angie’s List of their employees at a convention. It doesn’t really have anything to do with their business, but gives their audience a chance to know the people behind the screen.


Tell a Story

Whether it’s a story of one of your customers or your employees, sharing a story can be a great way to build a connection with your audience.

If you’re a realtor, for instance, you could tell stories about your clients, how you helped them find their dream home, why you do what you do, and more.

Plan Posts That Sell Your Service

You may be wondering why you only want to sell your services in two out of every nine posts. Well, Instagram isn’t inherently a promotion platform – it’s a place where people share their photos and videos with friends and family. That’s why it’s important to build a relationship with your audience before going in for the sell.

Now is your time to show off a little though!

TruGreen did a great job of showing off their superior grass in this Instagram post.

Of course this article only begins to touch on the best practices for selling your services on Instagram. There are plenty of other tips and tricks when it comes to crafting your captions or calls to action. However, getting the basics down and figuring out what type of content you want to share always comes first.

If you’re curious if marketing on Instagram is right for you or are looking to take your social media marketing to the next level, call Sales & Marketing Technologies today at 407-682-2222 to schedule a free strategy session with one of our expert social media marketers.

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